Photo Credit: Danger Room Blog
While the U.S. Army has been experimenting with the SWORDS robots in “real world” situations in Iraq, the company that made them has been working on the next generation of killbot, dubbed the MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). Apparently safety has been the Army’s chief concern when it comes to employing mechanized killing machines. The new MAARS robot apparently has added enhanced safety features, such as not letting the robot shoot the operator:
MAARS features new software controls, which allow the robot’s driver to select fire and no-fire zones. The idea is keep the robots from accidentally shooting a flesh-and-blood American. A mechanical range fan also keeps MAARS’ gun pointed away from friendly positions.
The robot is also equipped with a GPS transmitter, so it can be seen on — and tap into — the American battlefield mapping programs, just like tanks and Humvees. These “Blue Force Trackers” have been credited with dramatically reducing friendly-fire incidents during the Iraq war. MAARS comes with an extra fail-safe, which won’t allow it to fire directly at its own control unit.